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GeoSMS is a specification for geotagging SMS messages.[1][2] It works by embedding locations in the message text, where the locations are formatted as 'geo' URIs as defined in RFC 5870.[3]

It was developed in 2010 by Matthew Kwan, a PhD Candidate at the RMIT School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences and should not be confused with the Open GeoSMS standard.


A geotagged SMS as displayed by the I Am Here application.

A simple geotagged SMS might look like:

I'm at the pub geo:-37.801631,144.980294;u=10

which would contain the message I'm at the pub and a location with latitude 37.801631 degrees south, longitude 144.980294 degrees east, and an uncertainty of (+ or -) 10 metres.

Messages using GeoSMS can also contain multiple locations, for example:

I'll be at the pub geo:-37.801631,144.980294;u=10 until midnight, then heading to a gig geo:-37.864225,144.97294

which contains two locations.


GeoSMS is used by the free Android application I Am Here (available through the Android Market) to send and receive geotagged SMS messages. It displays received messages using either a compass or map view. The GeoSMS specification is also being used to allow ships and cruising vessels to send position updates from an SMS-capable satellite phone, such as one of the recent models marketed by Iridium Communications or Globalstar.[4]

Open GeoSMS[edit]

The Open Geospatial Consortium also has an approved Open GeoSMS standard, published in 2011. This standard has been broadly implemented in Asia.[citation needed] The OGC Open GeoSMS standard was originally developed in Taiwan by ITRI in 2008 and submitted into the OGC in 2009.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Now, geotag SMS to help friends locate you". Times of India. 2010-10-01. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  2. ^ "Researchers Develop Location-Enabled SMS Standard, Launch Android App". New York Times. 2010-10-01. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  3. ^ "RFC 5870 - A Uniform Resource Identifier for Geographic Locations ('geo' URI)". Internet Engineering Task Force. 2010-06-08. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  4. ^ [1] Sending GeoSMS position updates from offshore through a satellite phone.

External links[edit]